E3: Metal Gear Solid 2 trailer impressions...

[05.16.01] » ...with special surprise guest Hideo Kojima.

    Sony's pre-E3 press conference this afternoon had a surprise guest with a surprised package: Hideo Kojima with a brand-new reel of Metal Gear Solid 2 demo footage. Many new story details and sequences were revealed; though much of it is confusing, all of it is interesting. A description of events as the GIA saw and interpreted them follows; we will update our trailer impressions when and if we get another chance to view it.

    The trailer begins with grainy, black-and-white satellite footage. A voice intones, "Solid Snake did die. But he is also here. Either he died, or there are two of them." This is likely a government figure, discussing Solid Snake's "disappearance" at the end of Metal Gear Solid; the seemingly contradictory message could also refer to multiple clones whose existence were not revealed in the first game. From here, we cut to a man briefing a formation of soldiers in military uniforms. These men appear to be in control of the ship with Metal Gear Ray; it is unclear, however, if these men are part of the U.S. military, a militia organization in opposition to the military, or perhaps both.

    The "leader" talks about the Shadow Moses incident under the Sears' administration. The encounter ended with the plans for Metal Gear REX being sold on the black market. There is a force inside the government and U.S. military working for its own aims, he says. Metal Gear RAY will "return this nation back to us." He suggests that Metal Gear REX's plans were intentionally leaked. With Metal Gear RAY, they will "flush out and rid [the government and military] of corrupting forces." The "future of the country," he tells his men, "rests with you."

    The trailer then cuts to a montage of Snake sneaking around the ship, the ship being infiltrated by Ocelot's forces, Snake confronting Olga--all footage from the already released demo. At the end, a voice comes on and says that the terrorists call themselves "the Sons of Liberty," and that their "leader is Solid Snake."

    From here, we cut to the introduction of a new boss: Fortune. Fortune is a female of apparent Brazilian or mullato descent, with brown skin, blonde hair, and gold lipstick. She is wearing a black bodysuit/leotard and a brown trenchcoat. She also has a very large, futuristic-looking lightning gun. The gun is large enough to require two hands to wield. Fortune tells Snake, "My name is Fortune. I spend my luck on the battlefield. Even the Grim Reaper has given up on me." She then begins to fight Snake; the battle occurs in is a spacious warehouse-style room stacked with boxes and crates. Snake ducks behind crates, popping out to shoot. Fortune's lightning gun, however, shoots blasts powerful enough to shatter Snake's cover into flinders. As the crates shatter, Snake must find new places to hide. Eventually, Fortune starts firing into the ceiling, sending girders and shrapnel crashing down on Snake.

    In the next sequence, some soldiers come across a room strewn with bodies and bloodstreaks on the floor and wall. It looks much like the carnage left behind by Ninja in the first Metal Gear Solid. An invisible assailant then begins to kill the wayward soldiers--when he appears, however, he is not Ninja, but a vampiric character. He spins around, dodging bullets and slashing the remaining soldiers with a knife. As the blood gushes out of the final soldier's slit throat, he crosses his arms and looks up in ecstasy.

    The next sequence shows Solid Snake back on the George Washington Bridge, running from fighter jets as they launch missiles at the bridge. This sequence confirms that Snake does eventually leave the freighter, though we have yet to see any of the rumored New York portions of the game. Next, Snake walks slowly through a hallway as the camera trails him from behind. He says, "I won't die. There are too many things I need to do."

    Finally, we come back to the the military leader and his troops. Revolver Ocelot's spurs come into view, and he complements the leader on his "silver tongue," saying that he must be either a "good soldier ... or a liar." The men have their guns pointed at Ocelot, but their leader motions for them to lower their weapons. Gurlukovich then surprises the leader from behind with a gun. The leader then asks Ocelot a line we've heard from the first trailer, asking if he's come to steal Metal Gear RAY. Ocelot replies, No, no, he's simply taking it back.

    Snake then shouts "Ocelot!," marking the first time in Metal Gear Solid 2 he has not been called by his Mujahaddin name, "Shalashaska." Ocelot turns at the sound of Snake's voice, but is distracted as his (replaced?) hand starts to spasm in pain. He pulls off his glove to reveal a seemingly human-looking hand with a marking which resembled a barcode across the back. Ocelot calls Snake "brother," and Snake asks, "Liquid?" It is unclear why Snake would call Ocelot this, or why Ocelot (or a character who looks like Ocelot) would "really" be Liquid Snake. As his hand twitches, Metal Gear RAY activates and begins to lumber uncontrollably around the interior of the ship.

    As the footage approaches its end, credits fade in and out over a black-and-white American flag. A voice tells us that "George Sears was how the public knew him, the 43rd president of the United States. But his real name was Solidus--neither Solid nor Liquid, but a well-balanced masterpiece." A new tagline, "MGS2 submerges," most likey a reference to the upcoming media blackout for the title, appears followe by footage of Snake outrunning water as it races down hallways, as well as running through waist-deep water. It seems that Metal Gear RAY's rampage through the lower decks causes the tanker to sink.

    A new voice, not previously heard in the trailer, appears. "This is my son," he says. "I taught him everything." Could this be Big Boss, referring to one of Les Enfants Terribles? The trailer concludes with a familiar figure landing on the deck in front of Snake: Ninja. Or at least, a ninja, if not the Ninja. The face plate is now a single, solid plate that covers the entire front of the character's head. As electricity surges through the suit, the plate is illuminated from behind and we can see an unidentifiable human face. Snake asks this ninja, "Who are you?" The ninja's voice, computer-distorted, replies, "I am like you. I have no name." Here, the trailer ends.

    Look for hands-on impressions and for trailer clarifications once the GIA hits the show floor.

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